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Jyotika Bahuguna : Junior professor chair at the University of Strasbourg

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Discover Jyotika's career path

2010 - 2016 : from Master’s to PhD

Jyotika holds a Master’s degree in Robotics from the International Institute of Information Technology - Hyderabad (IIITH) renowns for research and located in Hyderabad, India which she obtained in 2010. Her interest in Neuroscience led her to enrol in doctoral research within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme “EuroSPIN” (European Study Programme in Neuroinformatics) between 4 university members : the National Centre for Biological sciences (NCBS), India ; the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom ; the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (ALUF), Germany and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.

She successfully obtained her joint Ph.D in 2016 from ALUF and KTH. During her Ph.D, Jyotika was involved in several international conferences including in Israel, the Netherlands, the United States, Germany and France.

Thanks to her network, she found her first post doctorate in Germany while she was still a doctoral student. Her thesis took longer than expected because of the post-doctoral research she was undertaking in parallel. Nevertheless, it was a great experience for her to be able to compensate the end of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship (3 years) with her post-doctoral salary.

2016 - 2023 : post-doctoral experiences

Before the end of her ph.D, Jyotika obtained her first post-doctorate in Germany at the Institute for Advanced Simulation of the Jülich research centre (Forschungszentrum Jülich), from 2016 to 2019. In that position, she focused on mathematical modeling of cortico-basal-ganglia ciruits in neuropathologies and honed her skills in theoretical neuroscience, while participating in international conferences.

Through an advertisement on a mailing list, she found her second post-doctorate at the Institute of Systems Neuroscience of Aix-Marseille University, in Marseille, France, which she held from 2019 to 2021 with support from the National Research Agency (ANR). This experience focused more on data analysis as opposed to theoretical modeling, where she learned to handle and analyse real neural signals.

Thanks to her growing scientific network, she found her last and third post-doctorate at the Department of Psychology of the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, United States. From 2021 to 2023, she worked on data driven modelling of neural circuits in decision making and participated in several international events in Germany, Sweden, France and in the United States.

Actual position and future career goals

Jyotika obtained a three-year Junior professor chair position (tenure track, also known as CPJ) at the University of Strasbourg, which she began in January 2024. For this CPJ, she is working within the Cognitive and Adaptive Neuroscience Laboratory (LNCA), the Faculty of Psychology, and the Interdisciplinary Thematic Institute “NeuroStra”. She was informed about the position by her former supervisor in Marseille who also helped and supported her in the application process.

Her main goal are :

  • First, to scientifically integrate into her laboratory team and foster collaborations;
  • Secondly, to improve her teaching skills since her contract includes a certain amount of teaching hours;
  • Thirdly, to improve her French. For this, she has enrolled in the Unistra’s French classes for international researchers, and is currently taking 4 hours of French lessons per week, with the hope of progressing rapidly.

After her three-year contract, Jyotika plans to become a permanent teacher-researcher at the University of Strasbourg.

Advice for researchers pursuing their careers

  1. Importance of scientific networking: your network is an important resource not only to find recruiters looking for young researchers, but also to support your applications (reference letter, preparation, etc.);
  2. Use of mailing lists to find opportunities: mailing lists are very valuable to find doctoral, post-doctoral and other scientific positions and you should register to several of them (laboratory, research unit, institution, associations, etc.). Moreover, do not hesitate to apply to positions even if they seem too ambitious to you;
  3. Take part in international conferences: participating and presenting your work at international conferences is a great way to learn how to disseminate scientific work. It will expand your international network, help you develop new collaborations, and give you an added value to your career in research;
  4. Learn French: learning French is always an asset for career development in France and demonstrate the desire for integration.